Sunday, June 7, 2009


Lactuca runcinata DC.

Synonym L. heyneana DC.

Family Compositae; Asteraceae.

Habitat Many parts of India, as

a common weed.

Folk Undir-chaa-kaan (Maharashtra).

Action Diuretic, slightly aperient.

Used as a diuretic in calculous affections,

also for chronic obstruction

of liver and bowels.

A smaller var., found in western Uttar

Pradesh, Rajasthan, Saurashtra and

theDeccan Penninsula, is equatedwith

L. remotiflora DC.

Lactuca sativa Linn.

Synonym L. scariola Linn. var.

sativa C.B. Clarke.

Family Compositae; Asteraceae.

Habitat Native to Southern and

West Asia. Cultivated throughout

India as a cold weather crop.

English Garden Lettuce.

Unani Kaahuu Bustaani, Salaad

Pattaa, Salaad Baaghi.

Siddha/Tamil Salattu.

Action Plant—used in painful

ulcers and burns.

The leaves contain calcium, phosphorus,

iron, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin,

carotine, iodine, fluorine. A. dietary

allowance of  g of lettuce is adequate

to meet the vitamin K requirement

of the body.

Aqueous extract of roots gave a guaiene-

type sesquiterpene glycoside, lactoside

C, along with known glycosides,

lactoside A and macro-cliniside A.

Lactuca serriola Linn.

Synonym L. scariola Linn.

Family Compositae; Asteraceae.

Habitat The Western Himalayas,

between , and , m. Found


English Wild Lettuce, Prickly


Ayurvedic Salaad, Vanya-Kaahuu.

Unani Kaahuu Saharai, Kaahuu


Siddha/Tamil Salattu.

Action Plant—mild sedative,

diuretic, diaphoretic, expectorant,

antiseptic. Seed—demulcent. The

seeds are used in the formof powder

for coughs and as a decoction for


Seeds contain protein, amino acids;

Mg Al and K as major elements besides

Na, Ca, Si, Ti, Mn, Fe and Cu.

Arachidic, caproic, linoleic, oleic,

palmitic, stearic acids and sitosterol

(from the root); ascorbic acid,

beta-carotene, -deoxylactucin, lacticin,

jacquilenin, lactupicrin, ubiquiL

358 Lactuca virosa Linn.

none (from the plant) have been isolated.

Lactuca virosa Linn.

Family Compositae; Asteraceae.

Habitat Native to Europe. Imported

into India.

English Bitter Lettuce, Wild


Unani Kaahuu Sahrai (var.),

Kaahuu Barri (var.).

Action Mild sedative, hypnotic,

(once used as a substitute for

opium), anodyne, expectorant.

Key application As sedative. (The

British Herbal Pharmacopoeia.)

Used in insomnia, nervous excitability,

anxiety, restlessness, hyperactivity

in children, nymphomania, smoker's

cough, irritable cough and bronchitis.

Aerial parts contain sesquiterpene


The leaves and dried juice contain

lacticin, lactucopicrin (sesquiterpene

lactones); flavonoids (mainly based on

quercetin); coumarins (cichoriin and

aesculin); N-methyl-beta-phenethylamine;

triterpenes include taraxasterol

and beta-amyrin. The sesquiterpene

lactones have a sedative effect.

TheWild Lettuce also contains hyoscyamine,

while the dried sap is devoid

of it. Morphine content has been

found in low concentrations, too low

to have pharmacological effect. (NaturalMedicines



The oil of seeds is used for arteriosclerosis.

Lagenaria siceraria

(Mol.) Standl.

Synonym L. vulgaris Ser.

L. leucanth Rusby.

Cucurbita siceraria Mol.

Family Cucurbitaceae.

Habitat Throughout India.

English Bitter Bottle-Gourd.

Ayurvedic Katu-tumbi, Tumbini,

Ikshavaaku. Tiktaalaavu, Pindaphalaa.

Unani Kaddu-e-talkh (bitter var.).

Siddha/Tamil Suraikai.

Action Pulp—purgative, emetic.

Leaf—used in jaundice.

Cucurbita lagenariaLinn. is equated

with Lauki or SweetBottle-Guard, used

all over India as a vegetable.

Cucurbita siceraria Mol. is equated

with Titalauki or the Bitter Bottle-

Gourd. Bitter fruits yield .% of

a solid foam containing cucurbitacin

B,D,G and H, mainly cucurbitacin B.

These bitter principles are present in

the fruit as aglycones. Leaves contain

cucurbitacinB, and roots cucurbitacins

B,Dand traces of E.Thefruit juice contains

beta-glycosidase (elaterase).

Plants which yield non-bitter fruits

contain no bitter principles or elaterase;

their roots are not bitter.

Lagerstroemia flos-reginae


Synonym L. speciosa (L.) Pers.

L. reginae Roxb.


Laggera alata Sch.- Bip. ex Oliver. 359

Family Lythraceae.

Habitat Tropical Himalaya, and

Assam, Western and Eastern Ghats,

up to , m.

English Pride of India, Queen's

Flowers, Queen Crape Myrtle.

Siddha/Tamil Kadalai, Pumaruttu.

Folk Jaarul. Kramuk and Arjun are

confusing synonyms.

Action Seed—narcotic. Root—

astringent, stimulant, febrifuge.

Fruit—used for aphthae of the

mouth. Leaves—purgative, diuretic,

deobstruent. Bark—an infusion is

given in diarrhoea and abdominal


A decoction of the leaves, also of

dried fruits, is used like tea for diabetes

mellitus in Philippines. Mature leaves

and fruits, in fresh condition, exhibit

hypoglycaemic activity experimentally.

The potency decreases on storing the


The leaf extract, when administered

as powder and as tannin-free

extract, showed hypoglycaemic activity

in mice. Amino acids constitute the

insulin-like principle. The plant contains

triterpenoids, colocolic acid and

maslinic acid. Colocolic acid is known

to possess hypoglycaemic activity.

Leaves contain lageracetal and sitosterol.

Ellagitannins have been isolated

from fruits and leaves.

Lagerstroemia indica Linn.

Family Lythraceae.

Habitat Native to China; grown as

an ornamental.

English Common Crape Myrtle.

Siddha/Tamil Pavalak-kurinji,


Folk Saavani, Faraash.

Action Seed—narcotic. Bark—

stimulant, febrifuge. Leaves

and flowers—purgative. Root—

astringent. Used as a gargle.

Lagerstroemia parviflora Roxb.

Family Lythraceae.

Habitat Almost throughout India,

up to an altitude of  m, in the


Ayurvedic Siddhaka, Siddha,

Syandana (provisional synonym).

Folk Dhauraa, Bakli. Chungi

(Hyderabad). Lendia (trade).

Action Astringent, fungitoxic.

The bark and leaves contain tannin

– and % respectively. The plant

contains a pentacyclic triterpene, lagflorin.

Aqueous extract of fresh and

ethanolic extract of dried and powdered

leaves exhibit fungitoxic activity

against several fungal pathogens of


Laggera alata Sch.- Bip. ex Oliver.

Family Asteraceae, Compositae.

Habitat Throughout India,

ascending up to , m in the

hills. (Native to tropical Africa and


English False Tobacco.


360 Lallemantia royleana Roxb.

Folk Amadok (Garhwal).

Action Disinfectant.

The plant is one of the major ingredients

of an ointment used in the

treatment of skin tumours in Chinese

medicine. In Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso,

Gabon and Tanganyika, different

parts of the plant are used for the treatment

of intercostal pain, rheumatic

pain and fever. The leaf and root decoctions

are used to treat pneumonia.

The plant from Nigeria was found

rich in phenolic ethers (%), followed

by monoterpenes (%) and

sesquiterpenes (%). The major component

of the oil was dimethyl thymoquinone

(%). It showed activity

against Gram-positive microorganisms.

Dried powder of the plant contained

artemisetin (artemetin).

Lallemantia royleana Roxb.

Family Labiatae.

Habitat Plain and hills of Kumaon

and Punjab, extending westwards to

Afghanistan. Imported into India

from Persia.

Unani Baalango, Tukhm-e-


Folk Tuut-malangaa.

Action Seed—cooling, diuretic,

sedative; given internally as

a soothing agent during urinary

troubles, also for cough. A poultice

of seeds is applied to abscesses,

boils and inflammations. (Seeds are

not to be used as a substitute for

Plantago sp.)

Seeds contain linoleic, oleic, palmitic

and stearic acids; beta-sitosterol.

Gum contains L-arabinose, D-galactose,

L-rhamnose, pentosans, protein,

uronic anhydride. Amino acids are also

found in the plant.

Lamium album Linn.

Family Labiatae; Lamiaceae.

Habitat West Himalayas from

Kashmir to Kumaon.

English White Dead Nettle,


Action Haemostatic (particularly

on the uterus), astringent, diuretic,

anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic,

expectorant. Used for menorrhagia,

leucorrhoea, cystitis, prostatitis,

bleeding piles, diarrhoea, irritable

bowel and respiratory catarrh.

Key application Internally, for

catarrh of the upper respiratory

passages; externally, for mild,

superficial inflammation of the skin.

(German Commission E.) Flowers

have been recommended for teas

and other galenical preparations

for internal applications, rinses,

baths and moist compresses. As

astringent. (The British Herbal


The herb contains iridoid monoterpenes;

triterpene saponins; caffeic acid

derivatives; flavonoids based on kaempferol;

tannins (mainly catechins). The

plant also gave a carbocyclic iridoid,

caryoptoside; besides lambalbide, albosides

A and B (iridoid monoterpenes).


Lansium domesticum Correa. 361

Laminum amplexicaule Linn.

Family Labiatae; Lamiaceae.

Habitat The temperate Himalayas

from Kashmir to Kumaon, Sikkim

and Assam.

Folk Titpaati (Garhwal), Jipachi


Action Plant—stimulant, laxative,

diaphoretic, cephalic, antirheumatic.


microcephalum Benth.

Family Compositae; Asteraceae.

Habitat Deccan, Konkan and


Unani Brahmdandi. (Tricholepis

angustifolia DC. of the same

family has also been equated with

Brahmdandi in National Formulary

of Unani Medicine.)

Folk Brahmdandi (Maharashtra),


Action Antiseptic, bitter tonic.

Lannea coromandelica


Synonym L. grandis (Dennst.)


Odina wodier Roxb.

Family Anacardiaceae.

Habitat Throughout India,

ascending to , m in the


Ayurvedic Jingini, Jhingan,


Siddha/Tamil Kalasan, Anaikkarai,


Action Bark—stimulant and

astringent; used in gout; decoction

for aphthae of the mouth and for

toothache. Leaves— boiled and

applied to sprains, bruises, local

swellings, elephantiasis. Gum—

given in asthma; as a cordial to

women during lactation.

The roots contain cluytyl ferulate;

heartwood gave lanosterol; bark, dlepi-

catechin and (+)-leucocyanidin;

flowers and leaves, ellagic acid, quercetin

and quercetin--arabinoside. Flowers

also contain iso-quercetin and

morin. Leaves in addition contain

beta-sitosterol, leucocyanidin and leucodelphinidin.

Lansium domesticum Correa.

Family Meliaceae.

Habitat Cultivated in Nilgiris and

a few other places in South India.

En glishLangsat Fruit, Dockoa.

Folk Duku.

Action Bark—astringent, antidysenteric.


prescribed in intestinal spasm.

Seed—febrifuge, vermifuge.

The peel of the fruit contains a triterpenoid

acid (lansic acid). Seeds are

bitter; contain traces of an alkaloid and


The crude extract of fruit peel, containing

lansic acid, lansioside A, B and


362 Lantana camara Linn. var. aculeata Moldenke.

C or their derivatives, is used as an ingredient

of shampoos and hair tonics.

Lantana camara Linn. var.

aculeata Moldenke.

Synonym L. aculeata L.

Family Verbenaceae.

Habitat Native to tropical America;

naturalized and occurs throughout

India. Also grown as hedge plant.

English Lantana, Wild Sage,

Surinam Tea Plant.

Ayurvedic Chaturaangi, Vanachchhedi.

Siddha/Tamil Unnichedi.

Folk Ghaaneri (Maharashtra).

Action Plant—antirheumatic,

antimalarial; used in tetanus

and ataxy of abdominal viscera.

Pounded leaves are applied to cuts,

ulcers and swellings; a decoction of

leaves and fruits is used as a lotion

for wounds.

The plant is considered poisonous.

The leaves contain toxic principles,

lantadenes A and B, which cause acute

photosensitization, jaundice, kidney

and liver lesions. A steroid, lancamarone,

is cardioactive and fish poison.


e bark of stems and roots contain

a quinine-like alkaloid, lantanine. The

extract of the shoot showed antibacterial

activity against E. coli and Micrococcus

pyogenes var. aureus. Flowers

contain anthocyanin.

Laportea crenulata Gaudich.

Family Urticaceae.

Habitat Tropical Himalayas from

Nepal eastwards, Bihar, Chota

Nagpur, Bengal, Assam, Anaimalai

Hills and Western Ghats in Kerala.

English Devil Nettle, Fever Nettle.

Siddha/Tamil Perunkanchori.

Folk Utigun, Chorpaat (Bengal).

(Uttangan is equated with Blepharis

edulis Pers.)

Action Root—juice used in chronic

fevers. Roots and leaves are applied

to swellings and abscesses.

Larix griffithiana Carr.

Synonym L. griffithii Hook. f. &


Family Pinaceae.

Habitat The Himalayas from

eastern Nepal to Bhutan at altitudes

of ,–, m.

English Himalayan Larch, Sikkim


Folk Boargasella, Binyi (Nepal).

Action Balsam—antiseptic,


Key application Larix decidua

Miller—in rheumatic and neuralgic

discomforts, catarrhal diseases

of the respiratory tract, furuncle

(in the form of ointments, gels,

emulsions and oils). (German

Commission E.)

American Larch is equated with Larix

laricina Koch., synonym L. americana

Michx. It is known as Tamarac.


Lathyrus sativus Linn. 363

European Larch is equated with Larix

decidua Miller., synonym L. europea

DC., Pinus larix L., Abies larix. It is

known as Pine Larch.

The bark of American Larch contains

–% tannins. The bark of

Larix dedidua is also astringent, balsamic

and diuretic. It contains lignans;

lariciresinol, liovil and secoisolariciresinol;

–% resins; essential

oil, containing alpha- and beta-pinene,

limonene, phellandrene, borneol as

major constituents.

Lasia spinosa (L.)Thw.

Synonym Lasia aculeata Linn.

Family Araceae.

Habitat Tropical Sikkim Himalayas,

Assam, Bengal and Southwards to

Sri Lanka.

Siddha Kantakachoramu, Mulasari


Folk Kantakachu (Bengal),

Kaantaasaru. Lakshmanaa and

Indiver-kand are doubtful synonyms.

Action Plant—used for colic and

intestinal diseases. Leaves—used

for stomachache. Rootstock and

fruits—for affections of the throat.

Lasiosiphon eriocephalus


Family Thymelaceaceae.

Habitat Deccan and Western

Ghats, from Konkan southwards to

Kerala at altitudes of ,–, m.

Siddha Nachinaar (Tamil).

Folk Raamethaa (Maharashtra).

Action Bark and leaves—poisonous.

Plant—vesicant. Leaves are applied

to swellings and contusions.

The stem bark and seeds contain

a xanthone glycoside, lasioside and

a biscoumarin, lasiocephatin.

Lathyrus sativus Linn.

Family Papilionaceae; Fabaceae.

Habitat Cultivated chiefly in

Madhya Pradesh, Eastern Uttar

Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra

Pradesh and Gujarat.

English Chickling Vetch, Grass


Folk Khesaari, Latari, Kalaaya.

Action Seeds—toxic. Prolonged

consumption results in paralysis of

legs, both in animals and human

beings, known as lathyrism. The

toxic substance responsible for

lathyrism had been identified as

selenium. Peritoneal injection

of beta-N-oxalylaminoalanine

(isolated from the seeds) produced

acute neurolathyrism at LD

doses (. mg/kg) in mice and

(. mg/kg) in chicken; liver and

kidney cells showed denaturation,

vacuolar and fatty degeneration.

(It is a neuropoison, which mainly

affects central nervous system.)

Related species include, Lathyrus

aphaca Linn., L. sphaericus Retz. and

L. tingitanus Linn., known as Kalaaya

or Khesaari.


364 Launaea mucronata (Forsk.) Muschler.

Launaea mucronata

(Forsk.) Muschler.

Synonym L. chondrilloides Hook. f.

Family Compositae; Asteraceae.

Habitat Western India, Punjab and


Folk Dudh-phad (Rajasthan).

Action Plant—galactagogue.

A decoction is administered in


Launaea pinnatifida Cass.

Synonym L. sarmentosa (Willd.)


Family Compositae; Asteraceae.

Habitat Sandy coasts of India.

Ayurvedic Gojihvaa, Golomikaa.

(Gaozabaan, used in Unani

medicine, is equated with Boraginaceae


Folk Vana-gobhi; Paathri (Maharashtra).

Action Plant—galactagogue,

soporific, diuretic, aperient.

Laurus nobilis Linn.

Family Lauraceae.

Habitat Native to the Mediterranean

region; cultivated throughout


English Laurel, Sweet Bay.

Unani Habb-ul-Ghaar, Daphni.

Action Leaves—mild sedative, gastric

tonic, cholagogue, diaphoretic,

antiseptic, antifungal. Used as a gargle

against sore throat. Oil—used

externally for rheumatism and in

hair dressings for dandruff. Berry—

emmenagogue, antileucorrhoeic,


Fresh leaves from Lahore (Pakistan)

gave an essential oil (.–.%) with,

,-cineole ., eugenol ., sabinene

., alpha terpineol ., alpha-pinene

., methyl eugenol . and terpinolene

.%. Major components of Greek and

Russian oils were ,-cineole followed

by alpha-terpinyl acetate.

The fruit from Kumaon region gave

an essential oil (%), including among

others, ,-cineol (.), methyl cinnamate

(.), alpha phellandrene (.)

and alpha-pinene (.%).

The leaves contain sesquiterpene

lactones and isoquinoline alkaloids.

Ethanolic extract of leaves produces

a significant decrease in blood glucose

level of diabetic rabbits. It contains

amylase inhibitors which can supress

sugar metabolism and can be used as

an antiobesity agent for pet animals.

The leaf extract has been used as an

antidandruff solution.

Lavandula angustifolia Mill.

Synonym L. officinalis Chaix. L.

spica Linn.

Family Labiatae; Lamiaceae.

Habitat Native to Mediterranean

region; cultivated in Jammu and



Lavandula stoechas Linn. 365

English Lavender.

Action Herb—mildly sedative,

antiflatulent and cholagogue. Essential

oil—antiseptic, antibacterial,


Key application Internally, for

mood disturbances, such as restlessness

or insomnia; functional

abdominal complaints (nervous

stomach irritation and discomfort);

for the treatment of functional

circulatory disorders in balneotherapy.

(German Commission E.) The

Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India

indicates the use of Lavandula

sp. for depressive states associated

with digestive dysfunction.

Major constituents of the essential

oil are linalool and linalyl acetate. Others

include borneol, camphor, lavandulyl,

caryophyllene, limonene, betaocimene,

terpene--ol-and alpha-terpineol.

Aerial parts of the plant contains

ursolic acid lactone, betulin, betulinic

acid and  beta-formyl ursolic acid.

The essential oil from flowering shoots

showed neuro-depressive or anxiolytic

activity in albino rats.

Lavandula bipinnata Kuntze.

Synonym L. burmanni Benth.

Family Labiatae; Lamiaceae.

Habitat Bihar, Chota Nagpur,

Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan,

Maharashtra, Decan and Konkan

southwards to Kerala.

English Wild Lavender.

Ayurvedic Shankhapushpi (Gujarat).

Action Used as a substitute for

Convolvulus pluricaulas Choisy.

Lavandula stoechas Linn.

Family Papilionaceae; Fabaceae.

Habitat Mediterranean region and

Asia Minor. Dried plant and flowers

are imported into Mumbai from

Persian Gulf.

English Arabian or French


Unani Ustukhuddus, Alfaajan.

Folk Dhaaru.

Action Flowers—antidepressive,

sedative, anticonvulsant, carminative,

antispasmodic, antibacterial,

antiseptic. Used in depression, nervous

headache, sluggish circulation,

physical and mental exhaustion,

insomnia, epilepsy, neuralgia and

rheumatic affections.

Oil—rubefacient, antimicrobial.

Used for nervous palpitations, giddiness,

spasm and colic. Relieves sprains,

neuralgia and rheumatism; rubbed for

stimulating paralysed limbs. Applied

to sores, burns, scalds and varicose


Plant—used for the treatment of

epilepsy and chronic sinusitis in Unani


Aerial parts of the plant contain

oleanolic, ursolic and vergatic acid,

beta-sitosterol, alpha-amyrin and its

acetate, lupeol, erythrodiol, luteolin,

acacetin and vitexin.


366 Lawsonia inermis Linn.

Theleaves contain polyphenols, apigenin-

-O-beta-D-glucoside, luteolin

andits -O-beta-D-glucoside, and-Obeta-

D-glucuronide, rosmarinic acid,

and -O-caffeoyl glucose.

For depression, tincture of lavender

flower ( :  in % alcohol),  drops

per day, has been used for  weeks

in Western herbal. (Natural Medicines

Comprehensive Database, .)

Lawsonia inermis Linn.

Family Lythraceae.

Habitat Native to Arabia and

Persia; now cultivated mainly in

Haryana and Gujarat; to a small

extent in Madhya Pradesh and


English Henna.

Ayurvedic Madayanti, Madayantikaa,

Mendika, Ranjaka.

Unani Hinaa, Mehndi.

Siddha/Tamil Marithondi,


Action Leaves—astringent,

antihaemorrhagic, antispasmodic,

oxytocic, antifertility, antifungal,

antibacterial. Used externally to

treat skin infections (tinea); also as

a hair conditioner.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India

indicated the use of the leaves in

dysuria, jaundice, bleeding disorders,

ulcers, prurigo and other obstinate skin

diseases.The leaf is also recommended

in giddiness and vertigo.

The leaves contain naphthoquinones,

in particular lawsone; coumarins

(laxanthone, I, II and III); flavonoids,

luteolin and its -O-glucoside,

acacetin--O-glucoside; beta-sitosterol-

-O-glucoside; all parts contain


Chloroform and ethanol extracts of

leaves exhibit promising antibacterial

activity against Shigella and Vibrio

cholerae. Leaf extract shows antifungal

activity against several pathogenic

bacteria and fungi.

Henna paint is used as a medicament

for treatment of hands and feet

for mycosis. The antimycotic activity

is due to lawsone, a naphthoquinone.

The ethanol-water ( : ) extract of

the stem bark shows hepatoprotective

activity CCl-induced liver toxicity.

Stembark and root, probably due to the

presence of isoplumbagin and lawsaritol,

exhibit anti-inflammatory activity


Evidence showsHenna leaf might be

able to decrease the formation of sickled

cells in individuals with sickle cell

anaemia. (Natural Medicines Comprehensive

Database, .)

Dosage Leaves—– ml juice.

(API, Vol. IV.)

Leea aequata Linn.

Synonym L. hirta Roxb. ex


Family Vitaceae.

Habitat Northern Eastern India,

West Peninsula and the Andamans.

Ayurvedic Kaakajanghaa,

Nadikaantaa, Sulomaasha, Paaraavatapaadi.


Lens culinaris Medic. 367

Folk Surapadi (Telugu).

Action Stem and root—astringent,

anthelmintic. Used for indigestion,

jaundice, chronic fever and malaria.

Essential oil—inhibits the growth

of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

(Schroeter) Lehmann & Neumann;

also inhibits the growth of Micrococcus

pyogenes var. aureus and

Pasteurella pestis. Root, tuber and

stem—mucilaginous, astringent.

Leaves and twigs—antiseptic; used

for poulticing wounds.

Leea crispa Linn.

Family Vitaceae.

Habitat North-Eastern India and in

Western parts of Deccan Peninsula.

Folk Banachelt (Maharashtra),

Banachalit (Bengal), Nalugu, Nellu


Action Leaves—applied to wounds.

Root tubers—used for guineaworm.

Plant—a host of the Indian lac


Leea indica Merrill.

Family Vitaceae.

Habitat Forests of tropical and

subtropical India, from Himalayas

as far west as Kumaon, and

southwards to the Peninsula.

Ayurvedic Chhatri, Karkatajihvaa,


Siddha/Tamil Nalava, Nyekki,


Folk Karkani (Maharashtra).

Action Root—antidiarrhoeal,

antidysenteric, antispasmodic,

cooling, sudorific. A decoction

allays thirst. Leaves—juice of

young leaves, digestive. Ointment

prepared from roasted leaves

relieves vertigo.

The leaves contain amorphous froth

forming acid.

Leea macrophylla Roxb.

Family Vitaceae.

Habitat Throughout hotter parts

of India.

Ayurvedic Hastikanda, Hasti-karna

Palaasha; Kekidandaa.

Folk Hatkan, Dholsamudra, Haath,


Action Astringent, anodyne,

styptic, antiseptic. Root tubers—

astringent, mucilaginous; applied

to wounds and sores; used for

ringworm and guineaworm.

Lens culinaris Medic.

Synonym L. esculenta Moench.

Family Papilionaceae; Fabaceae.

Habitat Native to South West Asia;

cultivated as a pulse crop mainly in

North India, Madhya Pradesh and

some parts of Maharashtra.

English Lentil.

Ayurvedic Masura, Masurikaa,

Mangalyaa, Mangalyak, Adaasa.

Unani Masoor.


368 Leonotis nepetaefolia (L.) R. Br.

Siddha Misurpurpu.

Action Seeds—mostly used as

a pulse. Contain as much as %

proteins (similar to those of peas

and beans). Soup is used in gastric

troubles and constipation. Paste

or poultice is applied to foul and

indolent ulcers.

Dosage Dried seed—– g.

(API, Vol. III.)

Leonotis nepetaefolia (L.) R. Br.

Family Labiatae; Lamiaceae.

Habitat Throughout the warmer

parts of India.

Ayurvedic Granthiparni, Kaakapuchha.

Folk Gathivan, Deepamaal


Action Leaves—spasmolytic. Ash

of flower head—applied to burns

and scalds, in ringworm and other

skin diseases.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India

recommends the root in cough,

bronchitis and dyspnoea.

The root contains n-octacosanol,

n-octacosanoic acid, quercetin, ,,-


campesterol and beta-sitosterol-beta-


Theplant contains ,,-trimethoxy-


The leaves contain neptaefolin, neptaefuran,

neptaefuranol, neptaefolinol,

leonitin, neptaefolinin and ()-, -

octadecadienoic acid.

The seed oil contains oleic, linoleic,

palmitic and stearic acids. The fatty

oil, extracted from the seeds, is similar

to olive oil. The seeds possess feeble

antimalarial activity. The seed extract

showed % toxicity against Alternaria

alternata and marked toxicity

against Aspergillus niger.

Dosage Root—– g powder.

(API, Vol. IV.)

Leonurus cardiaca Linn.

Family Labiatae; Lamiaceae.

Habitat Native to Europe; also

distributed in Himalayas from

Kashmir to Kumaon.

English Common Motherwort,

Lion's Tail.

Unani Baranjaasif. (Also equated

with Artemesia vulgaris Linn; and

Achillea millifoliumLinn.)

Action Stomachic, laxative,

antispasmodic, diaphoretic, emmenagogue

(used in absent or

painful menstruation, premenstrual

tension, menopausal flushes). Hypnotic,

sedative. Used as a cardiac

tonic. (Studies in China have shown

that Motherwort extracts show

antiplatelet aggregation actions and

decrease the levels of blood lipids.)

Key application In nervous cardiac

disorders and as adjuvant for

thyroid hyperfunction. (German

Commission E.) As antispasmodic.

(The BritishHerbal Pharmacopoeia.)

The British Herbal Compendium

indicated its use for patients who

have neuropathic cardiac disorders

and cardiac complaints of nervous



Lepidium ruderale Linn. 369

The plant contains diterpene bitter

principles, iridoid monoterpenes,

flavonoids including rutin and quercitrin,

leonurin, betaine, caffeic acid

derivatives, tannins and traces of a

volatile oil.

The herb is a slow acting adjuvant

in functional and neurogenic heart

diseases. Its sedative and spasmolytic

properties combine well with Valeriana

officinalis or other cardioactive


The herb contains several components

with sedative effects—alphapinene,

benzaldehyde, caryophyllene,

limonene and oleanolic acid. (Sharon

M. Herr.)

Lepidagathis trinervis Nees.

Family Acanthaceae.

Habitat North-west Himalayas and

Sikkim and from Bihar to central,

western and southern India.

Folk Safed Raasnaa (Bihar).

Hiran-chaaro, Paniru (Gujarat).

Action Plant—bitter tonic. Used

for rheumatic affections. (Raasnaa

is equated with Pluchea lanceolata.)

Related species of Lepidagathis: L.

cristata Willd., and L. hamiltoniana

Wall. ex Nees. These are used as a bitter

tonic in fevers and are applied to

itchy affections of the skin. The leaves

of L. incurva D. Don, synonymL. hyalina

Nees are chewed to relieve cough.

Lepidium iberis Linn. var. alba.

Family Curciferace; Brassicaceae.

Habitat Western Europe. Seeds are

imported into India from Persia.

English Pepper-Grass.

Unani Bazr-ul-khumkhum, Todari

(white var.).

Action Seeds—blood purifier;

prescribed in bronchitis.

The fatty acid of the oil are: oleic

., linoleic ., linolenic ., erucic

., stearic . and palmitic .%.

The seed mucilage on hydrolysis

gave galactose, arabinose, rhamnose

and galacturonic acid.

Flowering tops and seeds contain

a bitter principle, lepidin.

Theplant yield a sulphur-containing

volatile oil.

Lepidium latifolium Linn.

Family Curciferace; Brassicaceae.

Habitat North-West Himalayas.

Folk Gonyuch (Ladakh).

Action Plant—depurative, antilithic,

diuretic, stomachic, antiscorbutic.

An infusion is given for liver

and kidney diseases. Also used as

a resolvent in skin affections.

Theleaves show dose-dependent increase

of diuretic activity; also increase

in potassium excretion in urine.

The leaves contain cholesterol, stigmasterol

and beta-sitosterol.

Lepidium ruderale Linn.

Family Curciferace; Brassicaceae.


370 Lepidium sativum Linn.

Habitat Bhutan, Kumaon and

Kashmir, at altitudes of ,–, m.

Action Plant—used in impetigo.

The herb, seeds and volatile oil exhibit

properties similar to those of other

Lepidium sp.

Aqueous extracts of the herb cause

a brief drop in blood pressure and depress

respiration in mice and rabbits.

Lepidium sativum Linn.

Family Curciferace, Brassicaceae.

Habitat Native to West Asia;

cultivated throughout India as

a salad plant.

English Garden Cress,Water Cress.

Ayurvedic Chandrashuura, Chandrikaa,

Vaas-pushpaa, Pashumehankaarikaa,

Nandini, Suvaasaraa,


Unani Habb-ul-rashaad, Tukh-e-

Taratezak, Haalim, Sipandaan.

Siddha/Tamil Alivirai.

Action Used in asthma, bronchial

affections and bleeding piles.

Seeds—lactagogue, diuretic, and

emmenagogue. Used for treating

skin disorders, fever, amoebic

dysentery and asthma. Leaf—

stimulant, antiscorbutic, diuretic.

Roots—used in secondary syphilis

and in tenesmus.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India

recommends the use of dried seeds,

in powder form, in gout.

The seeds are a good source of iron,

but its bioavailability is poor (.% of

total iron). They are used for rapid

healing of bone fractures.The ethanolic

extract of seeds significantly increased

collagen synthesis and its deposition

at bone fracture portion in the

treated rats. The tensile strength of the

broken tibiae also increased.

The seeds contain an alkaloid

(.%), glucotropaeolin, sinapin (choline

ester of sinapic acid), sinapic acid,

mucilaginous matter (%) and uric

acid (. g/kg). The seed oil exhibits

pronounced oestrogenic activity.

The seed mucilage allays the irritation

of the mucous membrane of

intestines in dysentery and diarrhoea.

It consists of a mixture of cellulose

(.%) and uronic acid-containing

polysaccharides; acid hydrolysis yield

L-arabinose,D-galactose, L-rhamnose,

D-glacturonic acid and D-glucose.

Theplant contains pantothenic acid,

pyridoxin and rutin. Ethanolic extract

of the plant showed antiviral activity

against rinderpest virus.

Dosage Seed—– g powder. (API,

Vol. I.)

Leptadenia reticulata W. & A.

Family Asclepiadaceae.

Habitat Sub-Himalayan tracts

of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh and

Deccan Peninsula up to an altitude

of  m.

Ayurvedic Jivanti; Jivaniya, Jivapushpa,

Hemavati, Jivana. Shaakashreshtha,

Payaswini, Maangalya,

Madhusravaa. (Guduuchi, Medaa,

Kaakoli and Vrkshaadani are also

known as Jivanti.) (Haimavati


Leucaena glauca Benth. 371

is equated with Orris Root and

Hemapushpa with Sarca asoca


Siddha/Tamil Keerippaalai.

Folk Dodishaak (Gujarat).

Action Plant—stimulant and

restorative. Improves eyesight.

Found useful in the treatment of

habitual abortion. Leaves and roots

used in skin diseases.

The herb contains n-triacontane,

cetyl alcohol, beta-sitosterol, betaamyrin

acetate, lupanol -O-diglucoside

and lepitidin glycoside.

Stigmasterol and lipoid fraction of

the plant exhibited estrogen mimetic


Alcoholic extract of roots and leaves

show antibacterial activity against

Gram-positive and Gram-negative


Intravenous administration of aqueous

extract of stems has a pronounced

and hypotensive action in anaesthetized


Dosage Root—– g powder.


Leptadenia spartium Wight.

Synonym L. pyrotechnica (Forsk.)


Family Asclepiadaeae.

Habitat Punjab, Western Uttar

Pradesh, Rajasthan and northern

parts ofMumbai along the sea coast.

Folk Kheemp (Rajasthan), Kheep

(Gujarat). Prasaarani is a doubtful


Action Antiseptic. Plant used for

the treatment of burns and wounds.

The plant contains a triterpenoid,

leptadenol; also . g/ g tannin.

Lettsomia elliptica Wight.

Synonym Argyreia elliptica (Wight)


Family Convolvulaceae.

Habitat Chota Nagpur, Orissa,

Deccan, Karnataka, Anaimalai Hills

and Western Ghats from Konkan

southwards to Kerala.

English Silverweed.

Siddha/Tamil Unnayangodi.

Folk Khedari, Bond vel (Maharashtra).

Action Leaves—a paste is applied

externally in cough and quinsy.

Leucaena glauca Benth.

Synonym L. leucocephala (Lam.)

de Wit.

Family Mimosaceae.

Habitat The plains of India.

English White Popinac, Lead tree.

Siddha/Tamil Tagarai.

Folk Vilaayati Baval Lasobaval


Action The bark and leaves contain

. and % tannin respectively.

Leaves also contain quercitrin

(.%). The toxicity of the plant

is due to an alkaloid leucenine or


372 Leucas aspera Spreng.

leucenol. Beta-and alpha-aminopropionic

acid is reported to be

identical with mimosine (from

Mimosa pudica).

Seeds, in addition to a fatty oil

(.%), also contain mucilage composed

of mannans, glactans and xylans.

Stachyose is also reported to be

present in the seeds. (Heat treatment

of leaves and seeds after moistening

lowers the alkaloid content.)

Leucas aspera Spreng.

Family Labiatae; Laminceae.

Habitat Throughout India in

cultivated fields, wastelands,


English White Dead Nettle.

Ayurvedic Dronpushpi, Phalepushpaa,


Siddha/Tamil Thumbai.

Folk Guumaa, Halkusa (smaller

var.), Tumbaa.

Action Carminative, antihistaminic,

antipyretic, febrifuge, antiseptic.

Used in jaundice, anorexia,

dyspepsia, fever, helminthic manifestation,

respiratory and skin


Flowers—given with honey for

coughs and colds to children. Leaves—

juice is used as an external application

for psoriasis, chronic skin eruptions

and painful swellings.

An alcoholic extract of leaves shows

antibacterial activity.

The plant gave oleanolic acid, ursolic

acid and beta-sitosterol. The root

contains a triterpenoid, leucolactone,

and the sterols, sitosterol, stigmasterol

and campesterol.

Leucas cephalotes

(Roth.) Spreng.

Family Labiatae; Lamiaceae.

Habitat Throughout the greater

part of India, as a weed, ascending

up to , m in the Himalayas.

Ayurvedic Dronpushpi, Katumbaa.

Siddha/Tamil Tumbai.

Folk Guumaa, Dhurpi saaga,

Halkusa (bigger var.), Tumbaa.

Action Plant—stimulant, diaphoretic,

antiseptic (fresh juice is used

in scabies), insecticidal. Flowers—

a syrup is used as a domestic

remedy for coughs and colds. Dry

leaves along with tobacco ( : ) are

smoked to treat bleeding as well as

itching piles.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India

indicated the use of the dried

whole plant in jaundice, inflammations,

cough, bronchial asthma and

intermittent fever.

The plant contains beta-sitosterol

glycoside and traces of an alkaloid.

Dosage Whole plant—– ml

juice; – g powder. (API, Vol. II.)

Leucas lavandulaefolia Rees.

Synonym L. linifolia Spreng.

Family Labiatae; Lamiaceae.

Ayurvedic Dronpushpi (related



Lilium giganteum Wall. 373

Folk Tumbaa, Guumaa.

Action Leaves—a decoction is

used as a sedative in nervous

disorders; also as a stomachic and

vermifuge. Crushed leaves are

applied externally for dermatosis,

a poultice to sores and wounds.

Roots, stems and leaves are cyanogenetic.

Leucas martinicensis R. Br.

Family Labiatae; Lamiaceae.

Habitat Bihar and South India.

Folk Guumaa (var.). Sugandhak is

a doubtful synonym.

Action Plant—an infusion is

given for colds and gastrointestinal


Ligularia tussilaginea

(Burm. f)Makino.

Synonym L. kaempferi Sieb & Zucc.

Senecio kaempferi DC.

Family Compositae; Asteraceae.

Habitat Native to Japan; grows in

Indian gardens.

Action Used for obstinate skin


The rhizomes contain inulin and

beta-dimethylacrylic acid.

Lilium candidum Linn.

Family Liliaceae.

Habitat Native to Southern Europe

and South-West Asia; grown in

Indian gardens.

English Madona Lily, Annunciation

Lily, White Lily.

Action Bulb—astringent, demulcent.

Used for gynaecological

disorders. A decoction of the bulbs

in water or milk is given for dropsy;

a poultice is applied to tumours,

ulcers and skin inflammations.

Fresh flowering plant is used in

homoeopathy as an antispasmodic;

the pollen is used against epilepsy.

A total extract stimulates phagocytosis

in mice. The bulbs contain

alkaloids (pyrroline derivatives), jatropham,

ethyljatropham and citraconic

acid imides.

Mucous, tannin, sterine and glucoside

impart anti-inflammatory, analgesic,

diuretic and expectorant properties

to the bulb.

Bulbs of Lilium species contain soluble

polysaccharides (glucomannans),

starch, gamma-methylene glutamic

acid and tuliposide.

Lilium giganteum Wall.

Family Liliaceae.

Habitat Temperate Himalayas from

Kumaon and Garhwal to Sikkim,

Khasi and Aka hills and Manipur at

altitudes of ,–, m.

Folk Gaayotraa (Jaunsar).

Action Leaves—used as an external

cooling applications to alleviate

pains of wounds and bruises.


374 Lilium polyphyllum D. Don.

Lilium polyphyllum D. Don.

Family Liliaceae.

Habitat Uttaranchal, Himachal


Ayurvedic Kaakoli, Madhuraa,

Kshira, Vayhasthaa, Karnikaa,


Action Tuberous root—used as

a tonic in emaciation and as a source

of energy, after dry roasting.

Dosage Tuberous root—– g.

(API, Vol. III.)

Lilium tigrinumKer-Gawl.

Family Liliaceae.

Habitat Native to China and Japan;

cultivated in Indian gardens.

English Tiger Lily, Crumple Lily.

Action Bulbs—used as a cardiac

tonic. Flowers—used for ovarian

neuralgia, also recommended in

myoptic astigmia.

The bulbs of Lilium martagon Linn.,

Turk's Cap Lily, also possesses cardiotonic

properties and are used in the

treatment of dysmenorrhoea; externally

for ulcers.

Lilium wallichianum Schutt. f.

Family Liliaceae.

Habitat WesternHimalayas, Nepal,

Lushai hills, Manipur and hills of

South India at altitudes of –, m.

Folk Findora. Badai (Lushai).

Action Dried bulb scales—

demulcent; used like salep in

pectoral complaints.

Limnanthemum cristatum

(Roxb.) Griseb.

Synonym Menyanthes hydrophyllum


Nymphoides hydrophyllum Kuntze.

Family Menyanthaceae.

Habitat Throughout India, in

fresh water ponds and tanks.

(Considered by some authors

a synonym of Nymphoides Hill.)

Folk Ghainchu, Tagarmuula;

Panchuli, Chandmalla (Bengal);

Kumudini (Maharashtra).

Action Plant—used in fevers and

jaundice. Seeds—anthelmintic.

Stalks and leaves—applied to ulcers

and insect bites. A decoction is

used as a wash for parasitic skin

affections. The plant is used as

a substitute for Swertia Chirata.

The rhizomes and roots of Nymphoides

macrospermum Vasudevan (Family:

Menyanthaceae) are sold in the

market as Granthik Tagar. These are

used as a substitute for Valeriana hardwickii

Wall. in neurological disorders

and colic.

Limnanthemum indicum

(L.) Griseb.

Synonym Menyanthes indica Linn.

Nymphoides indicum (L.) O. Kuntze.


Limnophila indica (Lam.) Bruce. 375

Family Menyanthaceae.

Habitat Throughout India, in tanks

and back waters.

Folk Barachuli, Chinnambal


Action Plant—bitter, febrifuge,

antiscorbutic. Used as a substitute

for Swertia Chirata in fever and


Limnanthemum nymphaeoides

Hoffm. & Link.

Synonym Nymphoides peltata

(Gmel.) O. Kuntze.

Family Menyanthaceae.

Habitat Kashmir.

English Fringed Water-Lily.

Folk Kuru, Khairposh (Punjab).

Action Leaf—used in periodic


Limnophila aromatica

(Lam.) Druce.

Synonym L. gratissima Blume.

Family Scrophulariaceae.

Habitat South Bihar, Orissa,

Assam, Western parts of South

India, up to  m, also in back


Folk Aamragandha Karpuur

(non-classical); Karpuur (Bengal);

Ambuli (Maharashtra); Manganari

(Kerala). Kuttra.

Action Plant—galactagogue,

aperient, antiseptic. Juice given in

fever and to nursing mothers when

milk is sour. Oil—antiseptic.

Theplant gave an essential oil (.%),

containing d-limolene and d-perillaldehyde

as principal constituents. The

essential oil showed significant antimicrobial

activity against Bacillus subtilis,

Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger and

Rhizopus oryzae.

Theplant, made into a liniment with

coconut oil, is used in elephantiasis.

L. conferiaBenth., known asMunganari

in Kerala, contains flavonoids

showing anti-inflammatory activity,

quercetin showed significant activity

only at a dose of  mg/kg, while

wogonin, nevadensin and quercetinpentamethyl

ether at  mg/kg. The

essential oil from the plant exhibited

antifungal activity against ringworm


Limnophila indica (Lam.) Bruce.

Synonym L. gratioloides R. Br.

L. racemosa Benth.

Family Scrophulariaceae.

Habitat Throughout India in damp

places, swamps and rice fields.

Folk Kuttra; Karpuur (Bengal),

Ambuli (Maharashtra); Manganari


Action Plant—carminative,

antiseptic. Leaves—an infusion is

given in dyspepsia and dysentery.

A liniment prepared from the plant

is used in elephantiasis.

Related species: L. rugosa (Roth)

Merrill, synonymL. roxburghii G.Don,


376 Limonia crenulata Roxb.

known as Kaalaa Karpuur (throughout

India), is used as diuretic, stomachic,

digestive tonic. Also used as a hair


Limonia crenulata Roxb.

Synonym Hesperethusa crenulata

(Roxb.) M. Roem.

Family Rutaceae.

Habitat Throughout India, from

Punjab and Kumaon eastwards;

in Assam, Bihar, Orissa, Madhya

Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka

and South India.

Ayurvedic Bilvaparni.

Siddha/Tamil Nayvila.

Folk Ran-limbu, Naringi (Mumbai),

Tondsha (Maharashtra), Beli,


Action Dried fruit—stomachic;

used in pestilent fevers, also as

an antidote to poisons. Root—

purgative, sudorific.

Theplant showedanti-inflammatory

activity which was attributed to -



in animal studies.

The leaves contain an essential oil;

major constituents are geraniol, alphaand

beta-pinene, ,-cineole, elemol

acetate, linool, alpha-terpinolene,

camphor, eudesmol, p-cymene, camphane,

azulene, borneol acetate, alphaterpenol,

alpha-curcumene, alpha thujone,

limolene, myrcene and betaocimene.

Leaves also contain anthraquinones

and dalbargin galactopyranoside.

Lindenbergia indica

(Linn.) Kuntze.

Synonym L. urticaefolia Lehm.

Family Scrophulariaceae.

Habitat Throughout India,

ascending to , m in the


Folk Haldi Basanto (Bengal),

Dhol (Maharashtra), Patthar-chatti

(Gujarat), Bheet-chatti.

Action Plant—juice is given in

chronic bronchitis; also applied to

skin eruptions.

Lindera nessiana Benth.

Family Lauraceae.

Habitat Temperate Himalayas from

Nepal eastwards at ,–, m,

and in Assam.

Folk Gandha-daaru (Bengal),

Siltimur (Nepal).

Action Carminative.

The plant is reported to yield sassafras,

which is substituted for the true

sassafras from Cinnamomum glanduliferumMeissn.

The seeds yield a fatty oil (.%).

It gave methyl esters : methyl laurate

.,methyl caprate ., methyl oleate

., methyl myristate ., and methylpalmitate


Linum usitatissimum Linn.

Family Linaceae.


Lipasis rostrata Rehd. 377

Habitat Cultivated mainly in

Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh,

Maharashtra, Bihar and Rajasthan.

English Linseed, Flax.

Ayurvedic Atasi, Umaa, Masrnaa,

Nilapushpi, Kshumaa.

Unani Kattan.

Siddha/Tamil Ali, Virai, Sirrali


Action Seed—demulcent, emollient,

laxative, antilipidemic,

antitussive, pectoral (used in bronchitis

and cough). Flowers—used

as nervine and cardiac tonic. Oil—

used in burns, skin injuries and


Key application Internally, for

chronic constipation, for colons

damaged by abuse of laxatives, irritable

bowel syndrome, diverticular

disease, symptomatic short-term

treatment of gastritis and enteritis.

Externally, for painful skin

inflammations. (German Commission

E, ESCOP, The British Herbal


The plant contains chlorogenic acid

and its isomer. Also present are palmitic,

stearic, oleic, linoleic acids, along

with amino acids, and sugars. Linseed

also contains mucilage (–%) in epidermis;

fatty oil (–%); cyanogenic

glycosides (.–.%) mainly linustatin,

neolinustatin and linamarin; lignans;

phenylpropane derivatives including

linusitamarin. (Cyanogenic

glycosides are not found toxic in therapeutic

doses as these are broken down

only to a limited extent in the body.)

The seeds are an excellent source of

dietary alpha-linolenic acid for modifying

plasma and tissue lipids. Flaxseed

preparations reduced atherogenic risk

in hyperlipemic patients. (Cited in Expanded

Commission E Monographs.)

Human studies have indicated Flaxseed's

use in atherosclerosis, hypercholesterolemia,

lupus nephritis, chronic

renal diseases and in cancer prevention

(active principle: lignan precursor

secoisolariciresinol diglycoside).

(Sharon M. Herr. Also Am J Clin Nutr,

, , –.)

The PP glucose response to a  g

carbohydrate load given as Flaxseed

breadwas found to be %lower when

compared with regular white bread.

Taking Flaxseed oil daily for 

months did not improve symptoms

of pain and stiffness in rheumatoid

arthritis and no effect was observed

on RA, such as C-reactive protein and

ESR. (Natural Medicines Comprehensive

Database, .)

Thewater-binding capacity and rheological

properties of linseed mucilage

resembled those of guar gum.

Dosage Ripe seed—– g powder.

(API, Vol. I.) Flower-bud—– g;

oil—– ml. (CCRAS.)

Lipasis rostrata Rehd.

Family Orchidaceae.

Ayurvedic Jivaka-Rshabhaka (bulbs

of Microstylis wallichi Lindl. and M.

musifera, also of other orchids, are

sold as Jivaka-Rshabhaka).

Action Used in age-sustaining and

invigorating tonics.


378 Lippia geminata H. B. & K.

Lippia geminata H. B. & K.

Synonym L. alba (Mill.) N.E.Br.

L. javanica (Burm.f.) Spreng.

Family Verbenaceae.

Habitat Bihar and Orissa to

Assam; Madhya Pradesh, Nilgiris

and Anaimalais up to  m in wet

places and river banks.

Folk Basula (Madhya Pradesh),

Naagaa-aiari (Orissa).

Action Leaves—stomachic and

nervine. Essential oil—fungitoxic.

Theessential oil fromleaves contains

citral, neral and geranial. Diterpenes,

d- and l-limonene, l-piperitone, geranial.

Diterpenes, d-and l-limonene, lpiperitone,

lippone, a saturated ketone,

d-alpha-pinene, dl-dihydrocarvone,

citral and camphor have been identified

in different samples.

Lippia nodiflora Rich.

Synonym Phyla nodiflora (Linn.)


Family Verbenaceae.

Habitat Throughout India, in wet

places and river banks.

English Wild sage.

Ayurvedic Jalapippali, Shaaradi,

Shakulaadani, Jalakarnaa, Matsyagandhaa.

Laangali (now equated

with Gloriosa superba).

Unani Bukkum Booti.

Siddha/Tamil Paduthalai.

Action Plant—cooling, febrifuge,

diuretic. Poultice used as maturant

for boils. Leaves—an infusion is

given to women after delivery.

An alcoholic extract of the leaves

shows antibacterial activity against E.

coli. The leaf juice enters into hair oils

for alopecia areata.

Aerial parts are reported to contain

flavonoids, flavone aglycones and

flavone sulphates.

Dosage Whole plant—– ml

juice. (CCRAS.)

Liquidambar formosana Hance.

Family Altingiaceae; Hamamelidaceae.

Habitat Native to China; now

reported to have been introduced

into Lalbagh gardens, Bangalore.

English Fragrant Maple.

Ayurvedic Silhak (var.).

Unani Silaaras (var.).

Action See Liquidambar orientalis.

Balsam (Chinese Storax) contains

cinnamic acid (%). Cinnamyl alcohol,

borneol, a resin alcohol and

volatile constituents (.–%). The

leaves on steam-distillation yield %

of a volatile oil consisting principally

of terpenes (%).

Liquidambar orientalis Mill.

Family Altingiaceae; Hamamelidaceae.

Habitat Native to Asia Minor.


Lithospermum officinanle Linn. 379

English Storax, Oriental Sweet


Ayurvedic Turushka, Silhaka,


Unani Ambar Saayil, Silaaras.

Siddha/Tamil Neri-arishippal.

Action Balsam—anti-inflammatory,

stimulating expectorant, antiparasitic,

antiseptic, antimicrobial. Used

externally in scabies, ringworm and

other skin diseases. Used for coughs

and bronchitis as an inhalation.

Storax contained cinnamic acid up

to %—innamin acid esters, cinnamyl

cinnamate (styracin), phenylpropyl

cinnamate; triterpene acids;

vanillin; styrene; aromatic alcohols.

Pentacyclic triterpene aldehydes—iquidambronal

and ambronal—ave

been isolated from nonvolatile part

of resin along with bornyl trans-cinnamate.

Dosage Gum—– g. (CCRAS.)

Liriodendron tulipifera Linn.

Family Magnoliaceae.

Habitat Native to North America;

introduced into hill stations in


English Tulip tree.

Action Bark—antipyretic, diaphoretic;

used in rheumatism,

dyspepsia and as antimalarial.

The root contains an alkaloid tulipiferin,

traces of a glycoside, essential oil

and tannin.

Litchi chinensis (Gaertn.) Sonn.

Synonym Nephelium litchi


Family Sapindaceae.

Habitat Native to China; now

cultivated mainly in Northern

Bihar, particularly in Muzaffarpur

and Darbhanga districts, and

Saharanpur, Dehra Dun, Muzaffarnagar,

Gorakhpur, Deoria, Gonda,

Basti, Faizabad, Rampur, Bareilly,

Bahraich, Kheri and Pilibhit

districts of Uttar Pradesh.

English Litchi, Lychee.

Action Fruit—refrigerant during

summer. Leaf—used in bites of


Litchi aril contains: total sugars (as

invert sugar) .–.; reducing sugar

–.; non-reducing sugar .–.;

acidity (as citric acid) .–.%; and

ascorbic acid .–. mg/ g.

The plant contains levulinic, malic,

citric, lactic, malonic, fumaric, succinic,

phosphoric and glutaric acids.

TheBark contains friedelin and stigmasterol.

Litchi seeds are prescribed inMalaya

for neurological disorders and orchitis.

In seed lipids, fatty acids cyclopropanoic

.; oleic ., palmitic .

and linoleic .%, have been determined.

Lithospermum officinanle Linn.

Family Boraginaceae.

Habitat Kashmir and Kumaon, at

altitudes of ,–, m.

English Corn Gromwell.


380 Litsea glutinosa (Lour.) C. B. Robinson.

Folk Lubis firmun.

Action Leaves—sedative. Seeds—

diuretic, lithotriptic. A decoction of

roots and twigs is given in the form

of syrup in eruptive diseases, such

as smallpox and measles.

The aerial parts contain pyrrolizidine


Saline extracts of the aerial parts

and roots, administered to experimental

animals by injection, inhibit oestrus

and the functioning of ovaries and

testes; the activity of the thyroid gland

is also reduced. The active principle is

formed from phenolic precursors like

caffeic, chlorogenic, rosmarinic acid as

well as luteolin- beta-glucuronide by

an oxidation step. Other constituents

are lithospermic acid and shikonin.

Shikonin and acetyl-shikonin, the

pigments of the root, exhibit antiinflammatory

activity comparable to


Aninfusion of leaves is used in Spain

as sedative.

Litsea glutinosa

(Lour.) C. B. Robinson.

Synonym L. sebifera Pers.

L. chinensis Lam.

Family Lauraceae.

Habitat Punjab, Khasi Hills,

Bengal, Assam and South India.

English Common Tallow Lowrel.

Ayurvedic Medaasaka.

Unani Maidaa-lakdi, Maghaase-


Siddha/Tamil Mushaippeyetti,

Elumpurukki, Uralli.

Action Leaf—antispasmodic and

emollient. Bark—demulcent, emollient,

astringent, antidiarrhoeal,

anodyne. Root—decoction is

used as an emmenagogue. Oil

from berries—used in rheumatism.

Essential oil—antibacterial,


The bark is mucilaginous.

The plant contains a polysaccharide.

Leaves and stem contain aporphine alkaloids—

boldine, laurotetanine, actinodaphnine

and their derivatives. The

trunk bark gave sebiferine and litseferine.


oldine produced dose-dependent

inhibition of induced microsomal peroxidation

in experimental studies.

Dosage Bark—– g powder.


Litsea monopetala (Roxb.) Pers.

Synonym L. polyantha Juss.

Family Lauraceae.

Habitat Assam and Eastern

Himalayas, also Tamil Nadu.

Ayurvedic Maidaa-lakdi (var.).

Siddha/Tamil Maidalagadil, Picinpattai.

Action Bark—stimulant, astringent,

spasmolytic, stomachic,

antidiarrhoeal. Root—applied

externally for pains, bruises and


The bark contains beta-sitosterol

and an aporphine alkaloid, actinodaphnine.


Lobelia inflata Linn. 381

Litsea stocksii Hook. f.

Family Lauraceae.

Habitat Thehills of westernDeccan


Folk Pisi, Posha (Maharashtra).

Action Leaves—an infusion is

given in irritation of bladder and


Theseeds yield a fat consisting mostly

of lauric acid with a small amount of

oleic acid.

The leaves are mucilaginous.

Lobelia chinensis Lour.

Synonym L. radicans Thunb.

Family Campanulaceae, Lobeliaceae.

Habitat Nepal, Chota Nagpur

and Khasi hills at altitudes of –, m.

Action Plant—used in China for

fevers and asthma. Root—considered

depurative and antirheumatic

in Indo-China. The plant is one

of the constituent of a tincture

formulation used for the treatment

of scars.

The rhizomes of the plant are reported

to contain the polyfructosan,


Lobelia inflata Linn.

Family Campanulaceae; Lobeliaceae.

Habitat Native to eastern United

States; imported into India.

English Indian Tabacco, Pukeweed.

Ayurvedic Devanala (var.).

Action Antiasthmatic, antispasmodic,

broncho-dilator, expectorant,

mild sedative and relaxant.

Used as a tabacco deterrent (as amajor

ingredient in many antismoking


Key application In the treatment

of asthma, bronchitis. (German

Commission E.) As respiratory

stimulant. (The British Herbal


Lobelia contains piperidine alkaloids,

mainly lobeline, with lobelanine,

lobelanidine, norlobelanine, isolobinine.

Lobeline stimulates respiration

in animals by stimulating respiratory

centre and at high doses stimulates the

vomiting centre.

Lobeline has similar but less potent

pharmacological properties to nicotine

but /–/ as potent.

Lobeline (.%) has also been used

as an active ingredient in skin-lightening


Clinical research could not demonstrate

lobeline efficacy greater than

placebo in smoking cessation. It was

disallowed as an ingredient in antismoking

products in the US in .

(Natural Medicines Comprehensive

Database, .)

The leaves contain beta-amyrin palmitate

which possesses sedative and

antidepressant properties comparable

to the antidepressant drug mianserin.

Methanolic extract of leaves exhibited

antidepressant activity.


382 Lobelia leschenaultina (Persl) Skottsb.

The leaf powder is toxic at .–. g.

(Francis Brinker.)

Lobelia leschenaultina

(Persl) Skottsb.

Synonym L. excelsa Lesch.

Family Campanulaceae; Lobeliaceae.

Habitat Hills of South India at

altitudes above , m.

Ayurvedic Nala (var.).

Folk Devanala (var.) (Maharashtra.)

Action Leaves—filtered solution

is used in the control of aphids,

tingids and mites on vegetable and

other crops. Plant—poisonous to

man and livestock. The leaves are

cured and smoked as tabacco.

Lobelia nicotianaefolia Heyne.

Family Campanulaceae; Lobeliaceae.

Habitat Deccan, Konkan and

Western Ghats, at altitudes of –, m.

English Wild Tobacco.

Ayurvedic Devanala, Nala (var.).

Siddha/Tamil Kattuppugaiyilai,


Action Used as a substitute for

Lobelia inflata.

An analysis of Lobelia nicotianaefolia,

grown in Maharashtra, shows

that the plant contains appreciable

quantities of nor-lobelanine and small

amounts of lobinine and minor bases.

Lobelia cardinalis Linn., Cardinal

Flower, is cultivated in Indian gardens.

It contains lobinaline as main alkaloid.

Lobinaline depresses blood pressure

but has no influence on respiration. L.

erinus Linn. and L. succulenta Blume,

synonym L. affinis Wall. also contain

alkaloids with lobinaline .%.

Lobelia cordigera Cav., synonym L.

fulgens Willd., an ornamental Lobelia

sp., grown in Indian gardens, contains


Lobelia pyramidalis Wall. (Himalayas

from Kumaon eastwards to Sikkim

and Assamat altitudes of –,m)

contains .–.% alkaloids as lobeline,

and may be used as a substitute

for Lobelia inflata.

Lodoicea maldivica (Poir.) Pers.

Family Arecaceae; Palmae.

Habitat A dioecious palm, cultivated

in gardens as an ornamental.

English Double Coconut Palm, Sea

Coconut Palm.

Ayurvedic Samudra-naarikela,

Dariyaayee Naariyal.

Unani Naarjeel-e-Daryaayee,


Siddha/Tamil Kadalthengai,


Action The water of the green fruit

and its soft kernel—antacid and


A decoction of the fibrous husk is

reported to bring down urinary sugar


Loranthus falcatus Linn. f. 383

level in diabetic patients (the effect is


The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India

recommends dried endosperm in


Dosage Dried endosperm—– g

powder. (API, Vol.IV.)

Lolium temulentum Linn.

Family Gramineae; Poaceae.

Habitat The Western Himalayas,

Punjab and Upper Gangetic Plain.

English Darnel, Taumelloolch.

Ayurvedic Mochani.

Folk Mostaki, Visha-ghaasa


Action Sedative.

The overground parts of the grass

gave alkaloids—loline and perloline.

The caryopses of the plant contain

volatile alkaloids—N-acetylloline, Nformylloline

and N-acetylnorloline.

Loline dihydrochloride didnot show

CNS toxicity.

Lonicera japonica Thunb.

Family Caprifoliaceae.

Habitat Assam (Lushai hills);

cultivated in gardens.

English Japanese Honeysuckle.

Action The plant is used in China

as an antipyretic, stomachic and

in dysentery, also as an antidote

to consumption of poisonous

mushroom. Dried flowers are

considered diuretic.

The plant contains tannin and a saponin;

lutolin and i-inositol have been

isolated from the flowers. The berries

are rich in carotenoids of which cryptoxanthin

is the major component.

Lonicera angustifolia Wall. ex DC. (the

Himalayas from Kashmir to Sikkim

at altitudes of ,–, m), known

as Geaang, Chulu and Mithik in Punjab;

and L. glaucea Hook. f. Thoms.

(the Himalayas from Kashmir to Kumaon

at altitudes of ,–, m),

known as Sheaa and Shevaa in Punjab

and Kumaon, possess antispasmodic


Lonicera periclymenum Linn.,

Woodbine Honeysuckle, cultivated in

hill stations of India, possesses antispasmodic,

diuretic and sudorific

properties. Flowers are used in the

form of syrup in diseases of the respiratory

tract.The leaves contain an amorphous

glycoside and salicylic acid. Secoiridoid

and secoxyloganin have been

isolated from the plant.

Lonicera quinquelocularis Hardw. is

equated with Himalayan Honeysuckle,

found in the Himalayas from Kashmir

to Bhutan, up to an altitude of ,m.

Honeysuckle, also known as Duch

Honeysuckle, Goat' Leaf, is equated

with Lonicera caprifolium Linn.

Loranthus falcatus Linn. f.

Synonym Dendrophthoe falcate

(Linn. f.) Etting.

Family Loranthaceae.

Habitat Throughout India, as

a parasite.


384 Loranthus pentandrus Linn.

Ayurvedic Bandaaka, Sanharshaa,

Vrikshaadani, Vrikshaaruha,

Vriksha-bhakshaa. (A large bushy

parasite, which causesmuch damage

to the host tree.)

Folk Baandaa.

Action Tender shoots—contain

% tannins. Bark—stringent and


Loranthus pentandrus Linn.

Synonym Dendrophthoe pentandra

(Linn.) Miq.

Family Loranthaceae.

Habitat Sylhet. (A parasite found

on trees.)

Ayurvedic Bandaaka (var.).

Folk Baandaa.

Action Leaves—used as poultice

for sores and ulcers. The twigs

contain quercitrin and a wax, which

gives melissyl alcohol. The twig

ash (.%) contains manganese


Luffa acutangula (Linn.) Roxb.

var. amara (Roxb.) C. B. Clarke.

Family Cucurbitaceae.

Habitat Throughout India.

English Ribbed or Ridged Gourd

(bitter var.).

Ayurvedic Katukoshataki, Tiktakoshtaki.

Action Plant—purgative, diuretic.

Used for oedema, splenic enlargement,

cough and asthma. Seeds—

emetic, expectorant.

Theplant contains the oleanane type

triterpene saponins. It is reported to

exhibit antitumour activity.

The fruit juice is used as a homoeopathic

drug in hepatic congestion, irritation

and inflammation of gastricmucosa.

Dosage Leaf, fruit, root—– ml

juice. (CCRAS.)

Luffa cylindrica

(Linn.)M. J. Roem.

Synonym L. aegyptiaca Mill.

L. pentandra Roxb.

Family Cucurbitaceae.

Habitat Cultivated throughout

greater parts of India.

English Smooth Luffa, Spongegourd,

sponge Cucumber.

Ayurvedic Dhaamaargava, Mahaakoshtaki,

Mahaajaalini, Raajakoshataki.

Siddha/Tamil Mozhukupeerankai,


Action Plant—used against

pharyngitis, rhinitis, mastitis, oedema,

swellings and burns. Leaves—

used for chronic bronchitis. Leaf

juice is given for amenorrhoea.

Flowers—used for treating migraine.

Seeds—alcoholic extract

exhibited .% fungitoxic activity.

German Commission E included

Luffa aegyptiaca among unapproved

herbs. Preparations of Luffa sponge,

used as a preventive for infections

or cold, as a remedy for colds, nasal


Lupinus albus Linn. 385

catarrh aswell as sinusitis and suppuration

of the sinus, have been negatively


The saponins isolated from aerial

parts are effective in controlling obesity,

also the side-effects of steroids.

The oleanane saponins, lucyoside AH

(at least one component) is effective

in preventing loss of hair.

Spongegourd extracts or saponins

(ginsenosides and lucyosides) find application

in topical medication for skin

disorders and haemorrhoids. Lucyosides

are also used as antitussive.

The roots of the mature plants contain

an acidic pentacyclic triterpene,

bryonolic acid. Bryonolic acid showed

antiallergic and anti-inflammatory activity

in experimental animals. An

aqueous extract of seeds showed strong

fibrinolytic activity. It also showed

anticancer activity in transplanted tumours.

Dosage Leaf, flower, fruit—– ml juice. (CCRAS.)

Luffa echinata Roxb.

Family Cucurbitaceae.

Habitat Uttar Pradesh, Bihar,

Bengal and Gujarat.

English Bristly Luffa.

Ayurvedic Devadaali, Devataadaka,

Jimuuta, Garaagari, Kothaphala.

Siddha/Tamil Panibira.

Folk Bandaal (Varanasi).

Action Fruit—purgative (intensely

bitter and fibrous). An infusion

is given in biliary and intestinal

colic; also in nephritis and chronic


The fruit contains chrysoeriol and

its glycosides as principal flavonoids.

Seeds contain cucurbitacin B, triterpene

alcohols, and a saponin with oleanolic

acid as sapogenin.

The alcoholic and ether extracts of

the plant showed protection against

CCl-induced hepatic injury in rats.

The aqueous extract of fruits is beneficial

in jaundice as it significantly

lowered serum bilirubin level in

chlorpromazine-induced jaundice in

rats and human patients. The ethanolic

extract (%) of the plant exhibited

hypoglycaemic activity.

The yellow-flowered var. of Devadaali

(Eastern Himalayas, Sikkim,

Bihar, Bengal) is equated with Luffa

graveolens Roxb.

Dosage Fruit—– g powder.


Lupinus albus Linn.

Family Leguminosae; Fabaceae.

Habitat Cultivated in gardens.

English While Lupine,Wolfsbohne.

Unani Turmus.

Action Seeds—deobstruent, carminative,

alterative, anthelmintic.

Used as an external application to


The seed contains alkaloids d-and

dl-lupanine and hydroxylupanine.

The principal alkaloid of Blue Lupine

(Lupinus angustifolius L.) seeds

is d-lupanine, also hydroxylupanine.


386 Luvunga eleutherandra Dalz in part.

YellowLupine (Lupinus luteus L.) seeds

contain lupinine (.–.%) and

sparteine (.–.%). Seeds are

feebly cyanogenetic. Other species

of Indian gardens, Lupinus hirsutus

Linn. and Lupinus mutabilis Sweet,

contain sparteine.

Luvunga eleutherandra

Dalz in part.

Family Rutaceae.

Habitat The western part of

Peninsular India, from Konkan

southwards to Anaimalai and

Travancore hills, up to an altitude

of , m.

Ayurvedic Lavanga-lataa (var.).

Folk Kokilaa (Bengal).

Action See Luvunga scandens.

Luvunga scandens

(Roxb.) Buch.-Ham. exWight.

Family Rutaceae.

Habitat Bengal, Assam and Khasi


Ayurvedic Lavanga-lataa.

Folk Sugandh-kokilaa (Bengal).

Action Essential oil—antifungal.

Mature berries contain coumarins.

The essential oil from berries contains

cinnamyl cinnamate, cineole, dcamphor

and methyl cinnamate as major


Dried fruits are used in medicinal

hair oils, prescribed for treating baldness.

The bark contains myricadiol, taraxerol

and myricolal.

Lycium barbarum Linn.

Family Solanaceae.

Habitat Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat

and Maharashtra.

Unani Chirchataa, Chirchitaa,


Folk Kheechar Chirchataa.

Action Immunostimulatory,

antiproliferatory, antiageing;


The leaves and flowers contain free

quercetin (. and . mg/g dry

weight, respectively), andboundkaempferol.

Total alkaloid percentage is

nearly the same in shoots (.%)

and fruits (.%) but lower in calli

(.%) and roots (.%). Fruits

had highest atropine content (.%)

and shoots the highest hyoscyamine

content (.%).

Flavonoids are active against E. coli,

Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans

(quercetin does not show activity

against Candida albicans).

The polysaccharide extract from

fruits showed antiageing, immunostimulatory

and antiproliferatory activities.

The polysaccharide acts as an antioxidant

and prevented CCl-induced

increases in lipid peroxidases in liver.

It can also protect against genetic

damage frommutagenic and genotoxic

compounds. This activity leads to its

potential use in preventing the adverse

effects of chemotherapeutic agents.


Lycopodium clavatum Linn. 387

The fruit contain beta-carotene (

mg/ g dry weight), also free amino

acids (.–.%); major amino acid is


The dried fruit and root bark reduce

cholesterol level by preventing

its absorption in gastrointestinal tract.

A constituent of the root bark, kukoamine

exhibits cholesterol lowering,

antihypertensive and hypoglycaemic

effects. Hepatoprotective activity is attributed

to a cerebroside constituent

found in the fruit. (Natural Medicines

Comprehensive Database, .)

Thefruit and root bark is contraindicated

in bleeding disorders and hypoglycaemia.

(Sharon M. Herr.)

Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.

Synonym Solanum lycopersicum


Family Solanaceae.

Habitat Cultivated in many parts

of India.

English Tomato, Love Apple.

Unani Tamaatar.

Action Mild aperient, blood

purifier, cholagogue, digestive.

Used in homoeopathy for treating

rheumatic conditions, colds, chills,

digestive disorders, diabetes,

obesity, leucorrhoea, metrorrhagia.

Tomato is a powerful deobstruent.

It promotes flow of bile; mildly laxative,

especially when taken raw. Tomato

stimulates torpid liver and kidneys

and helps to wash away toxins. Tomato

is recommended for diabetics. It is

a major dietary source of carotenoid


Tomato juice inhibits carcinogenic

N-nitrosocompound formation chiefly

in the stomach. Most of the inhibition

of formation of N-nitrosomorpholine

by phenolic fraction of tomato juice

was due to chlorogenic acids. The

ascorbate fraction of the juice also

contains compounds that inhibit nitrosation.

Consumption of tomato juice can

significantly increase serum lycopene

levels. (Decreased serum lycopene

concentrations are associated with an

increase riskofprostate cancer.) (NaturalMedicines



The alcoholic extract of tomato possesses

CNS depressant and analgesic


Lycopodium clavatum Linn.

Family Lycopodiaceae.

Habitat Indigenous to North

America, Europe, Asia; found in

Kumaon, eastwards in West Bengal,

Sikkim, Asam, KhasiHills,Manipur

and in Western Ghats.

English Common Club Moss.

Folk Naaga-beli (Nepal), Bendarali


Action Sedative, antispasmodic,

diuretic. At one time used for

urinary disorders (spasmodic

retention of urine, catarrhal cystitis

and chronic kidney disorders), and

as a gastric sedative in gastritis.


388 Lycopus europaeus Linn.

The plant contains alkaloids (about

.–.%), including lycopodine, lycodoline,

faucettimine and lycoflexine;

triterpenoids including clavatol and

oxoserrat derivatives; flavonoids including

apigenin; polyphenolic acids

including dihydrocaffeic.

Lycopodine produces uterine contractions

and stimulates peristalsis in

the small intestines of rodents.

The plant contains (dry basis): lipid

. and desmethylsterols .%.

Used in homoeopathy for distended

abdomen, cough, cystitis, renal colic

and disorders of menstruation.

Chinese Club Moss, equated with

Huperzia serrata, is a different herb. Its

constituent, huperzine A is thought to

be beneficial in dementia due to its effect

on acetylcholine levels.

L. annotinumLinn., L. complanatum

Linn. (American Club Moss) and L.

selago Linn. are among other species

of Lycopodium occurring in India.

Lycopus europaeus Linn.

Family Labiatae.

Habitat Western Himalayas in

Jammu and Kashmir, and Himachal


English Gipsywort, Bugleweed.

Folk Gandam-gundu, Jalneem.

Action Cardioactive, diuretic,

peripheral vasoconstrictor, sedative,

narcotic, antihaemorrhagic,

antitussive, thyrostatic.

Key application In mild thyroid

hyperfunction (contraindicated in

thyroid hypofunction, enlargement

of thyroid) with disturbances of

vegetative nervous system; mastodynia

(tension and pain in breast).

No simultaneous administration

of thyroid preparations. Administration

of Bugleweed preparations

interferes with the administration

of diagnostic procedures using

radioactive isotopes. (German

Commission E.)

Theleaves containlithospermic acid.

Plant contains luteolin--glucoside; ursolic

acid, caffeic acid, chlorogenic

acid, sinapic acid, ellagic acid and other

derivatives of phenolic acid. The

antioxidant activity of the plant is partially

attributed to rosmarinic acid.

Antigonadotropic activity of the leaf

extract is attributed to phenolic precursors.

Ethanol extract of the plant showed

diverse effects on the pituitary, thyroid

and gonadal glands of rats.

A closely related species, Lycopus

virginicus of Europe, exhibits antithyrotropic

activity. It induces TSH

repletion in hypothyroid rats and reduction

of TSH levels in euthyroid

rats. Antigonadotropic activity has

been demonstrated in rats.

Lygodium flexuosum (L.) Sw.

Synonym L. pinnatifidum Sw.

Family Schizaeaceae.

Habitat Throughout India; up

to an elevation of , m in the


Folk Vallipana (Malyalam);

Bhuuta-bhairavi (Bengal), Bhuutaraaj;

Kalzhaa (Bihar). Rudrajataa is

a doubtful synonym.


Lyonia ovalifolia (Wall.) Drude. 389

Action Plant—expectorant. Root—

used in external applications for

rheumatism, sprains, cut wounds,

eczema, scabies, carbuncles.

A decoction in drunk in gastric


The acetone extract of fresh leaves

exhibits antifungal activity. The fern

contains a methyl ester of gibberellin.

The plant contains lygodinolide,

dryocrassol, tectoquinone, kaempferol,

beta-sitosterol and stigmasterol.

The root contains quercetin.

Alcoholic extract of the plant exhibited

potent antifertility activity.

L. japonicum Sw., found in North

India from Kashmir to Sikkim and

Bhutan, and in Western mountains of

South India, is used as an expectorant

in China.

Lyonia ovalifolia (Wall.) Drude.

Synonym Pieris ovalifolia D. Don.

Family Ericaceae.

Habitat Outer Himalayas from

Kashmir to Sikkim, at , to

, m, and in Khasi hills between

, to , m.

Folk Angyaar (Garhwal), Arwan

(Punjab), Angeri (Nepal).

Action Young leaves and buds—

used externally for cutaneous

affections. Leaves—insecticidal.

Honey from flowers—


Leaves contain a toxic, insecticidal

substance andromedotoxin.

The wood yields .% ash, rich in

soluble potassium salts.

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